🇧🇴 Spring 2024 Bolivia Expedition

      La Paz, Bolivia

      CH
      CHOICE Humanitarian
      • Email address verified
      3 reviews
      Mar 30 - Apr 6, 2024
      Group size: 15 - 40
      🇧🇴 Spring 2024 Bolivia Expedition
      La Paz, Bolivia

      CHOICE Humanitarian
      • Email address verified
      3 reviews

      Mar 30 - Apr 6, 2024
      Group size: 15 - 40

      About this trip

      Travel with purpose to rural Bolivia and work together with the local people on a community-led project to reduce global poverty.


      A landlocked nation of South America, Bolivia radiates a charming culture that sweeps across eastern lowlands, western highlands, and endless salt flats. Generous locals await each CHOICE expedition in the famed Altiplano region amidst Andean peaks at 13,000 feet above sea level.

      Expedition Information

      Enjoy an incredible opportunity to learn about local culture while also experiencing international development and humanitarian work firsthand. Along with your fellow expeditioners, you will expand your view of what it means to be a global citizen.


      Project Information

      Once we find out more information about the community and project you'll be working on during this Expedition, we'll be sure to include that information here. Until then, trust that the project will be a sustainable, locally led project identified by the community. No matter your abilities/skill-level, there will be accessible options for you to participate every step of the way!


      Cultural Exchange

      Cultural exchange is one of the most important aspects of CHOICE expeditions. When people of different backgrounds come together to exchange ideas, experiences, perspectives, and knowledge, the world becomes a more connected place. These authentic and meaningful interactions can generate empathy and foster open-mindedness.


      Ethical & Sustainable Service

      CHOICE employs qualified local country staff who work with community members to organize and lead projects designed specifically for the needs of their community. By focusing on the causes rather than the symptoms, our projects can create multidimensional, long-lasting solutions which increase the community’s capacity to build a path out of poverty.


      For more information, view our Expedition Philosophy and FAQ's!

      Leader Information

      Each Expedition is led by a Certified Expedition Leader (CEL). The CEL works together with CHOICE's local country team to make each part of your trip intentional and valuable.


      More information to come about the CEL for this trip.

      Travel Information

      Expeditioners are responsible for booking and paying for their own air travel. The Expedition Fee does not cover airfare.


      We recommend booking your flights two to eight months before departure for the best pricing and availability! 


      ARRIVAL INFORMATION:

      Airport: El Alto International Airport (LPB)

      Date: DAY 1 (March 30)

      Time: Before 12PM Local Time


      DEPARTURE INFORMATION:

      Airport: El Alto International Airport (LPB)

      Date: DAY 8 (April 6)

      Time: Anytime


      Tour Add-On Travel Information

      If you have purchased the Machu Picchu Add-On, please book your departure from Bolivia, directly to Cusco, Peru. From Cusco, you'll book your return flights home directly from Cusco. (See more instructions below!)


      ARRIVAL INFORMATION:

      Airport: Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ)

      Date: DAY 8 (April 6)

      Time: Before 4PM Local Time


      DEPARTURE INFORMATION:

      Airport: Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ)

      Date: DAY 11 (April 9)

      Time: Late Afternoon/Evening


      CHOICE partners with CV Humanitarian travel, a trusted agency that specializes in humanitarian travel to the remote places where CHOICE works. If you would like to work with one of their trusted agents, please find their contact information below:

      Agent: Blair Greene 

      Email: blair@cvtravel.com

      Phone: +1 (205) 484-2029


      For any other questions, please visit our FAQ's page, or contact the CHOICE Expeditions Team.

      Medical Evacuation Insurance

      CHOICE Humanitarian requires all expedition participants to purchase medical evacuation insurance. This insurance covers transportation to a clinic or hospital during medical emergencies. It must cover at least $25,000. Proof of coverage must be provided to CHOICE as part of registration. 


      Medical evacuation insurance can be purchased separately or as part of a travel health insurance policy. It can cover emergency transportation from a remote area to a high-quality hospital, which could otherwise cost more than $100,000.


      In addition, CHOICE encourages all expedition participants to purchase standard travel insurance and trip cancellation coverage due to unforeseen circumstances that might cause trip disruptions or unexpected flight cancellations. 


      Suggested Policy Providers:

      Travel Guard 

      (800) 826-1300


      Gateway Connexions 

      (800) 282-4495


      Travelex 

      (800) 228-9792


      Insure My Trip 

      (800) 487-4722


      Major credit card companies also provide free and/or low cost travel insurance to cardholders. Please be sure that such coverage is actual insurance and not just insurance consultation.


      If you are a student or faculty member, the least expensive way to acquire emergency evacuation/medical insurance is the international youth/student/faculty I.D. card ($20). Most universities offer these through their study abroad office. You will need to provide proof of current school enrollment or faculty employment and a passport-sized photo.


      There is also an International Student Card that is a $25 plan and covers our medical evacuation requirement. See if you qualify and more information on their website below.

      Travel Checklist + Additional Documents

      CHOICE Registration Materials

      • CHOICE Registration Materials
      • Medical Evacuation Insurance
      • Book Flights + Upload full Flight Itinerary

      Bolivia Visa Instructions for U.S. Citizens


      Note: Visa requirements in the developing world tend to ebb and flow. Meaning – depending on the immigration officer that processes you at the airport, some items may or may not be required. Required items will be marked with an asterisk (*). 


      Step 1: Prepare Necessary Documents Ensure all travelers have the following documents:

      • Passport*: Must be valid for at least six months beyond the intended stay.
      • Passport Copy*: Color photocopy of your passport ID page.
      • Photograph: 2’x2’ Passport size photograph.
      • Visa Application Form: Check if a visa application form is available online and fill it out before arrival (if applicable).
      • Web-Based Registration: Register your personal and accommodation details online here. Translate to English in-browser. 
      • Application Payment: Bring $160 USD per person*
      • Proof of Sufficient Funds: Bank statements, credit card copy, or other proof of financial capability to cover expenses during the stay.
      • Flight Itinerary: Confirmation of the return or onward journey.
      • Accommodation Details: Address and contact information of the place(s) where they will stay.
      • Invitation Letter: Include letter from CHOICE Team detailing activities, community details, etc.
      • Yellow Fever Vaccination: While the area we will travel to does not require a Yellow Fever Vaccination, it is recommended to receive the vaccination and its corresponding certificate to present to immigration. See here for a list of Travel Clinics in Utah.
      • Travel Affidavit for a Minor **

      *Bills larger than $20 or printed before 2008 are not recommended.

      **Required for volunteers under 18 years of age traveling without a parent.


      For more information see here and here.


      Step 2: Arrival at El Alto International Airport (LPB) Upon landing at the El Alto International Airport in La Paz:

      • Immigration Check: Proceed to the immigration counters.
      • Visa Application Counter: Locate the visa application counter at the airport.
      • Application Submission: Submit your completed visa application form and required documents at the designated counter.

      Step 3: Visa Processing and Payment

      • Processing Time: Wait for the visa processing, which may take some time depending on the volume of applications.
      • Fee Payment: Pay the visa fee ($160 USD), if applicable. Ensure you have new $20 USD bills.

      Step 4: Visa Approval and Entry

      • Approval Notification: Upon visa approval, receive your passport with the visa stamp.
      • Entry into La Paz: Collect your belongings and proceed through immigration to enter Bolivia.

      Additional Tips and Information:

      • Currency Exchange: It's advisable to exchange some currency at the airport for immediate expenses.
      • Language: English might not be widely spoken, so having a basic understanding of Spanish can be helpful.
      • Customs Regulations: Be aware of customs regulations and declare any items as required.
      • Emergency Contacts: Keep emergency contact numbers handy in case of any issues or emergencies.
      • Transportation: The CHOICE Bolivia Team will be at the airport waiting for you upon arrival.

      Important Notes:

      • Ensure that all information regarding visa requirements and processes is up-to-date before departure.
      • Be patient and follow instructions from airport officials for a smooth visa application process.
      • If any doubts or uncertainties arise, seek assistance from airport staff or authorities.

      Disclaimer: The visa application process and requirements might vary based on nationality and specific visa types. It's crucial to verify the latest information from the official embassy or consulate of Bolivia in your country before traveling.

      Extra Suggestions and Recommendations

      • Did I read all important pre-departure materials (accessible on this site)?
      • Did I check local weather reports before departure?
      • Did I make copies of passports and insurance policies to take with me (or save digital copies to a device)?
      • Did I receive recommended and/or routine vaccinations? (For updated recommendations see here.)
      • Did I pack proper electrical adapters/converters?
      • Did I contact my banking institution before departure (to use credit/debit cards abroad)?
      • Did I grab some spending cash for personal expenses? (~$250 for souvenirs and extra food/drink.)
      • Did I leave phone numbers with friends and relatives?
      • Did I check with the airline(s) regarding baggage weight limits and potential excess baggage fees?
      • Did I reconfirm flights and/or check for changes in flight times?

      Travel + Packing Information

      Travel Information

      CURRENCY

      Bolivian Boliviano (BOB)

      1.00 US Dollar = 6.88 Bolivianos

      Exchange rate could change; please look up current exchange rate before departure.


      ELECTRICITY

      220-240 volts AC (50 Hertz)

      Plugs: round 2-pin / flat 3-pin (same as United Kingdom)


      WEATHER

      DRY SEASON: May – October (cool and mild in the afternoons, frigid in the evenings)

      *rain is occasional

      HIGH: 65°F – 70°F / LOW: 30°F – 35°F


      RAINY SEASON: November – April (warm in the afternoons, cold in the evenings)

      *rain and/or snow is intermittent

      HIGH: 70°F – 75°F / LOW: 40°F – 45°F


      FOOD

      During the expedition, CHOICE will provide 3 daily meals to all volunteers while in the village. The local diet consists of quinoa, fish, rice, llama, and vegetables. Expedition participants can expect to eat standard American foods combined with local elements: cereals, breads, salads, soups, chicken, fruits, salsas, etc. CHOICE will also provide drinks such as milk, fruit juices, and soda pop. Participants are encouraged to bring personal food and snacks that will not be available in the villages (supplement bars, sweets, etc). Drinkable water will be provided in the village. We encourage each participant to bring a reusable water bottle.

      PACKING LIST

      This comprehensive packing list has been prepared as a convenience. The recommendations reflect the experience of CHOICE as well as recommendations from previous expedition participants. If you have questions about anything on the packing list, feel free to ask the Expedition Staff, the Expedition Leaders, or post a question in the expedition Facebook group.When reviewing this list, please refer to the weather information provided above to coordinate which items to pack and take on a specific expedition (according to the month/season).

      CHOICE recommends that all volunteers check the weather forecast prior to departure to ensure appropriate packing. It is wise to think in LAYERS when preparing for a service trip abroad. All volunteers are expected to bring a comfortable sleeping bag. Foam pads will be provided in the village.

      CHOICE recommends that all volunteers pack as light as possible (since brief hikes might be required before entering and/or departing from the village). CHOICE also suggests duffle bags and camping backpacks as ideal packing equipment (instead of suitcases). Please check with the airlines regarding baggage allowances and excess baggage fees. CHOICE will not be responsible for such fees.

      Participants have found that packing everything in large ziploc-style bags makes it easier to find socks and shirts during the expedition, but also keeps clothes clean and odor-free. CHOICE suggests also bringing such a bag to store dirty clothes throughout the expedition.

      One golden piece of advice: Leave behind a clean change of clothes at the hotel or keep a clean change of clothes inside a bag during the entire expedition. Why? So that there is a fresh outfit to wear when boarding the international flight home! You’ll thank us later! 


      NECESSARY ITEMS
      Clothing

      • durable walking shoes (hiking boots or well-built tennis shoes)
      • sandals or flip-flops (for use in shower and inside sleeping area)
      • swimsuit (for use in shower)
      • multiple pairs of socks (lightweight long socks protect ankles from insect bites)
      • three (3) pair of work pants or knee-length shorts (casual, quick-dry – not jeans)
      • four (4) or five (5) t-shirts or work shirts (casual, quick-dry – not sleeveless)
      • sweatshirt and/or light jacket
      • one (1) long-sleeve shirt for the evenings
      • simple rain poncho/waterproof jacket
      • underclothing (enough for entire trip without washing)
      • pajamas appropriate for group sleeping
      • hat or sun visor

      Toiletries/First-Aid

      • antibacterial wet wipe packets (80-100 per person) and/or antibacterial hand gel
      • toothbrush/toothpaste
      • deodorant
      • pocket size packs of tissue
      • water bottle (plastic or aluminum)
      • inexpensive durable watch
      • camera (plus extra battery and extra film/disk)
      • extra prescription medicine (packed in carry-on luggage)
      • sunscreen
      • lip balm
      • minor blister/wound care (band-aids, moleskin, triple antibiotic cream etc.)
      • pain reliever (ibuprofen, etc.)
      • diarrhea medication (imodium, etc.)
      • constipation medicine
      • decongestant or allergy medication
      • personal prescriptions
      • mosquito repellent with at least 20% DEET
      • chigger cream

      Other Items

      • medium to warm sleeping bag (lightweight bag is easier to manage and pack)
      • travel pillow
      • headlamp with new batteries
      • good work gloves
      • jumbo and mid-size ziploc bags (for dirty/wet clothes, garbage, organizing and packing)
      • personal hygiene items: towel, washcloth, soap, shampoo, toilet paper, etc.
      • day bag (to transport water, jacket, hat, gloves, camera, snacks to worksite)
      • personal journal and pen
      • passport

      RECOMMENDED ITEMS

      • sleep aids (ear plugs, etc.)
      • travel pocket guide
      • cultural sharing items (small musical instruments, photo albums, etc.)
      • supplies and games for village activities (fingernail polish, materials for necklaces and
      • bracelets, frisbees, soccer balls/ pumps, etc.)
      • small multi-tool or pocket knife
      • compact travel games or cards

      OPTIONAL ITEMS

      • bandana (used around head or neck)
      • sunglasses
      • snacks (granola bars, fruit leather, etc.), sweets, powder juices
      • compact indoor games or projects

      What’s included

      • Accommodations
        All accommodations during the Expedition are included.
      • Meals
        Meals during the Expedition are included.
      • Local Transportation
        Transportation within country are included during the Expedition.
      • In-Country Preparation
        All logistics and details provided by our in-country team of development professionals is included.
      • Expedition Leaders
        Your leaders for the Expedition are Certified according to CHOICE's very high standards of safety, care, and sustainable development in order to provide the most fulfilling experience for you!
      • Project Costs
        Your Expedition Fee will help cover the cost of the project we will work on and future sustainable CHOICE projects.

      What’s not included

      • Airfare
        Transportation to/from country are not included in your Expedition Fee.
      • Additional Accommodation
        Extra hotel nights before or after the Expedition will not be covered by your Expedition Fee.
      • Extra Food/Snacks
        You are welcome to bring/buy additional food/snacks outside of the food and snacks that will be provided.
      • Visa Fees
        Fees for Bolivian Visa (required prior to entry) not included.

      Available Packages

      Expedition Fee
      $2,295
      Deposit: $300

      Available options

      Itinerary

      Day 1
      Arrive to La Paz + Travel to Copacabana

      Participants should arrive to El Alto International Airport (LPB) in La Paz before noon (12PM). CHOICE will arrange group transportation from the airport to Copacabana (3.5 hours) for overnight accommodations. 


      Nestled on the banks of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world at over 12,000ft, Copacabana offers the chance to tour island ruins, explore local markets and enjoy a leisurely afternoon adjusting to the altitude.


      CHOICE staff and expedition leaders will provide a group orientation in the evening to discuss trip details.

      Your Organizer


      CH
      CHOICE Humanitarian
      3 reviews
      CHOICE Humanitarian works with and through rural communities to expand their range of options, foster self-reliance, and reduce poverty. For every life touched, there is potential for a better future. From agricultural production to women's entrepreneurial training, to youth education scholarships and more, CHOICE carries out hundreds of vital projects based on data-driven needs. Our Expeditions Program supports that mission by giving our supporters the experience of working in the field and engaging in valuable intercultural exchange.

      Reviews

      MH
      My second CHOICE trip (first one to Kenya) and this was just as rewarding. CHOICE trips expand your horizons and provide needed perspective on how we all fit together on this big blue marble. Opportunities to meet, work, and connect with different peoples and cultures are invaluable, and CHOICE makes it all come together in a wonderful fashion.
      By Matt H for 🇧🇴 Spring 2024 Bolivia Expedition on Apr 15, 2024
      The team took such good care of us it was a wonderful experience! We loved the villagers they were so appreciative. It was a life changing experience for my family.I hope we will be able to go again. Thank you all so much!
      By Lola J for 🇪🇨 Winter 2023 Ecuador Expedition on Jan 09, 2024
      We loved being with our big family group and having wonderful experiences together. The CHOICE Ecuador team did such a great job of scheduling meaningful experiences and took such good care of us. The food was great, the people were lovely, the work was hard but fun. Thanks!
      By Julee B for 🇪🇨 Winter 2023 Ecuador Expedition on Jan 08, 2024